I.10    History of Math Courses on the Web


Many universities offer courses in the history of mathematics, but few of them seem to have web pages. I have only located the following, but would be most happy to hear of other individuals who have created web pages dealing with their history of mathematics courses.

I would like to strongly encourage all who are teaching history of mathematics to create a web page dealing with their course (and don't change the URL later). All of us could learn a great deal from seeing what others are doing.

This list is arranged alphabetically by the name of the teacher of the course.

G. Donald Allen, Texas A & M University. 

You will find a syllabus, homework sets, several exams and a complete set of lectures. There is a lot of very useful information here, and I find this to be one of the best class pages on the web. There is a separate page for students that has a very nice list of possible term paper topics. The lectures are here in a somewhat different format. This course has been substantially revised. For each of the 13 sections there are goals, readings, and problems.

Tom Archibald, Acadia University, Canada.

Hélène Barcelo, Arizona State University.

A course devoted to six women mathematicians. Some of their papers are read in the course.

Thomas L. Bartlow, Villanova University.

Includes a rather extensive list of source materials.

Janet Beery, University of Redlands.

Len Beggren, Simon Fraser University.

Ronald Calinger, Catholic University of America.

A graduate level course that meets once a week. There are detailed readings for each week. This provides good guidance for the instructor wanting to find things to read to improve his background.

Jim Carlson, University of Utah.

Contains syllabus, lecture outline, and assignments. Unfortunately one can't get to the slides and notes.

Richard Delaware, University of Missouri – Kansas City.

A very detailed syllabus for an ambitious course that stresses proof.

M. J. DeLeon, Florida Atlantic University.

This course based on the text of Eves seems to stress the mathematics more than the history. But don't ignore this page, for the advice to the students is sound.

Carl Eberhart, University of Kentucky.

Doug Ensley, Shippensburg University.

Doug Faires, Youngstown University.

Lots of neat stuff here. See the Transformation Theorem of Leibniz.

Fernando Q. Gouvêa, Colby College.

This looks like a wonderful course. There are details of the "coursepack" of readings for the students. Excellent advice for writing papers as well as some nice suggestions for paper topics. Lots of good ideas here.

Judy Grabiner, Pitzer College.

A course based on Katz. There are additional suggested readings for each section. These will be valuable for the instructor wanting to gain a broader and deeper background.

Sarah J. Greenwald and Greg Rhoads, Appalachian State University.

This is a course for teachers of grades 6-12 and was actually taught at a middle school.

David Joyce, Clark University.

Daniel King, Sarah Lawrence College.

A course dealing with elementary mathematics. Detailed syllabus. Not based on a single textbook.

Reinhard Laubenbacher and David Pengelley, New Mexico State University.

You should explore this site for the wealth of resources which are here.

Marc Leibert et al., University of Pennsylvania.

This course was taught by a group of students in 1977. There is almost no information here, but the concept is interesting.

Chuck Lindsey, Florida Gulf Coast University.

One needs a password.

Mickey McDonald, Occidental College in Los Angeles.

A novel feature of this seminar style class is the electronic class journal to which all students are to contribute regularly. The use of  "projects" is also innovative (I only wish I knew what the students did).

Duncan Melville, St. Lawrence University.

Deals with Ancient Mathematics. Day by day syllabus with interesting web links. He also has a nice page on Mesopotamian mathematics.

Daniel E. Otero, Xavier University.

Has some useful links. Not to be missed is the MAA's Basic Library List on history of mathematics. They have to write a paper on an individual and one on an original sources. These are listed.

Karen Parshall, University of Virginia.

Uses the Fauvel and Gray Reader, so there is a stress on original sources. A list of topics is given but no detail.

Kim Plofker and David Pingree, Brown University.

This is a course on the History of Indian Mathematics taught by a pair of internationally recognized experts. The "Guidelines for the final paper" are very useful and I encourage everyone to read them. In the spring of 2000 a course on Calculus and its History was taught. It  looks most interesting; I wish I could have attended. Information about other courses can be found on the pages of the Department of the History of Mathematics at Brown University, the only department of the history of mathematics in the world. Also of interest here is a (very short) list of schools that offer graduate study in the history of mathematics. Here is an obituary of David Pingree (1933-2005) and information about the future of the department.

Fred Rickey, United States Military Academy.

Phill Schultz, University of Western Australia.

There is a lot of detail here. Complete set of lectures.

Gary Stoudt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Glen Van Brummelen, Bennington College.

Open University

If you would like to check out what is happening on the other side of the Atlantic, at least in the UK, then take a look at the Directory of History of Mathematics Courses within Mathematics Degrees offered by UK Universities which is on the web side of the British Society for the History of Mathematics.

Another listing of courses on the history of mathematics is maintained by Jaime Carvalho e Silva. Most of these are listed here, but the my list concentrates on American schools.                           

Return to the minicourse home page.
If you have comments, send email to V. Frederick Rickey at fred-rickey@usma.edu .
Posted 2 December 1996. Last revised July 2005.



These are lost items that I can't find anymore:

Jay Fillmore, University of California, San Diego.

The goal of this course was to prepare a timeline for the history of mathematics. Students prepared web pages on the different events. Interesting things to look at here are the first day questionnaire and the individual blurbs.

David L. Reed, Duke University.

This course is divided into two parts. The first compares the texts of Euclid, Hilbert, and Descartes on geometry. This seems like it would be an interesting project. The second deals with nineteenth century mathematics. This is a good example of the great variety of history of mathematics courses that are offered. The course is based, at least in part, on his book, Figures of Thought (Routledge, New York and London, 1995).

Amy E. Shell-Gellasch, United Sates Military Academy.

There are some novel things here, including visiting speakers and a real field trip. Also this course stresses the history of West Point. Uses Howard Eves's Great Moments in Mathematics Before 1650 and After as two of the four texts.

MATH 480 History of Mathematics

Gregynog History of Mathematics Course

Research projects in History of Mathematics

Ma 117 - Mathematics and Culture at Mansfield University in PA by Richard Walker.

Smith College has a topics course that has offered some interesting courses in the past few years.

Why Study History Of Math - Mathematics and the Liberal Arts. [site is still there, but not of interest]